Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Great MLK Jr. Day 2012 Clean-Up Event

Irv Sheffey of the DC Sierra Club sent out this message as a summary of the great work and spirit on January 16th, 2012 at the 6th Annual Pope Branch Park & Stream Clean-Up event:

I want to thank everyone who supported and participated in yesterday’s 6th Annual MLK Day Clean-Up of Pope Branch Park in Ward 7. Eighty-two volunteers from all around the neighborhood, city and region came together to remove trash and debris from in and around the park, the creek (a tributary to the Anacostia) and surrounding neighborhoods. Each year we see more and more improvement in the cleanliness of the park and I attribute it to the quality of care demonstrated at this event and one we hold in the spring. Yesterday we removed 6,000 pounds of trash and debris from the streets and park. The community and the river are the direct beneficiaries of that effort; not a simple accomplishment.

I’m always amazed at the volunteers who come out, typically in very cold weather, to help in polishing this little gem of a park in southeast. These are people, some coming from afar, who could have chosen to be home, spending time with their families, watching TV and generally keeping warm. They chose to be out in our community making a difference in the spirit of Dr. King, proving his legacy lives on.

Thank you each and everyone.

Irv Sheffey

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pope Branch 2012 MLK, Jr. Day Clean-Up

After 5 years of successful clean-ups we have removed lots of historical dumping sites along the stream and reduced the amount of litter in and near the park. Work still remains and we have some clean-up work left to do. The park is in much better shape than 6 years ago when we first started these annual clean-up days but work still remains.

On January 16th, 2012 from 10am until 1pm we are asking you to once again come out and help us clean-up Pope Branch Park and the surrounding areas. To register for the project just go to the SERVE DC website or follow this link and sign-in up for the Pope Branch Park Clean-Up:

For specific event details or questions please email Irv Sheffey at

As Dr. King said "everybody can be great because everybody can serve." Please come and serve with us!

Friday, December 10, 2010

SIGN UP for the 5th Annual Clean Up - Jan. 17, 2011

Unclogging the Fairlawn Ave. culvert. Rain gardens maintenance.

Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance
In conjunction with

Groundwork Anacostia River ● Earth Conservation Corps ● Wholeness for Humanity ● Sierra Club ● Casey Trees
Ward 8 Environmental Council ● Clean Water Action ● Surfrider Foundation ● Greater DC Cares ● Anacostia Watershed Society
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7A ● Cooperative Extension Service/University System of the District of Columbia ● Serve DC
DC Office of the Clean City ● DC Department of the Environment ● DC Department of Transportation ● DC Department of Parks and Recreation
DC Department of Public Works ● DC Water

Invites you to join us at our

5th Annual Pope Branch Park
Clean-up Event
in honor of the
Martin Luther King Jr.
Day of National Service
January 17, 2011
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
(on site registration begins at 8:30 am)

This Community Service Project celebrates Dr. King and the memory of the late Joseph Glover, Founder & Chair of the Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance to restore and beautify the Pope Branch tributary of the Anacostia River

We will gather as a community to remove trash and invasive plant species from along the creek.
Meet us at Fairlawn Avenue & M Place, SE
We will have a shuttle service courtesy of the Earth Conservation Corps meeting volunteers at the Potomac Metro stop (Orange & Blue lines) from 8:30 am to 9:30 am to Pope Branch. Volunteers will be shuttled back at the end of the event. )
You can use for Metro information
The A31, U2, V7, V8 & V9 buses stop at Minnesota Avenue & Lyndale Place one block from Pope Branch Park
If arriving by car you can use to plan your route

For additional information and to RSVP please contact:
Irv Sheffey
Sierra Club / Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance / Groundwork Anacostia River DC
(202) 299-6503 ●

A Community FYI

When asked what river runs through the nation’s capitol, people often reply “the Potomac” and they would be correct; but there is another, the Anacostia. The Anacostia, frequently called the “forgotten river”, was once a key source for commercial trade from Bladensburg to the greater Chesapeake region but was neglected over the last 100 years resulting in it becoming one of the most polluted rivers in the nation. The river literally became a cesspool, with untreated sewage entering it with every rainfall of an inch or more. Deforestation upriver, due to development, led to forty feet of silt settling along its bottom not only making the river unnavigable but forming a trap for chemicals from run-off and illegal dumping thus creating a toxic soup. The river was no longer fishable or swimmable as it once was, becoming an eyesore and health hazard for all the communities that lie along its shores

In the last few years the District, federal and regional governments along with environmental organizations and citizens interested in restoring this great river have begun to make a difference. No longer is the Anacostia on the list of the top ten polluted rivers. The river has begun a turnaround. Laws have been passed against illegal dumping, enforcement of those laws has increased and plans are in development to prevent untreated sewage from entering the river. Hundreds of trees have been planted along with new wetlands to mitigate the effects of stormwater run-off. People have taken personal actions to clean up the waterway removing trash and debris and beautifying our neighborhoods; but more is needed.

Pope Branch Creek is one of the major tributaries of the Anacostia east of the river; others include Watts Branch and Nash Run in northern Ward 7. This little creek runs to the west, more or less parallel with M Place, from Ft. Davis Drive, under Fairlawn Avenue and I-295 eventually entering the river at its shores in Anacostia Park. Several years ago, Joseph Glover, Ward 7 community resident and activist began a simple initiative; he and his family walked along the creek picking up bottles, cans, plastic bags and other trash in an effort to reclaim this little gem of a park. He would eventually form an advocacy group, the Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance (PBPRA) to speak on behalf of the creek and its surrounding park. Sadly, Mr. Glover passed away last year after suffering an illness, but we continue in his memory and spirit. One result of his efforts is a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the DC Water, the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and the District’s Department of Parks and Recreation to realign sewer lines that crisscross the stream, install anti-erosion measures along its shores and create hiking trails further connecting the community to the overall park. Construction along the entire creek is tentatively scheduled for this spring. DDOE and DC Water will update the community in the near future about those activities and their impact upon the affected neighborhoods (Twining Dupont Park and Penn-Branch). Another initiative is an annual clean-up of the park on Martin Luther King Day of National Service, the 5th such event taking place this forthcoming January 17th,

At this event we hope to have over 150 volunteers from around the District and this neighborhood join us in removing invasive plants and shrubs that choke the creeks and picking up trash and debris from around the park. We will gather at M Place and Fairlawn Avenue SE at 9:00 am (on-site registration begins at 8:30 am) and we will complete at 1:00 pm. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and other refreshments will be served.

This event is being organized by the Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance and Groundwork Anacostia River DC in conjunction with the Earth Conservation Corps, Wholeness for Humanity, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Ward 8 Environmental Council, Clean Water Action, Greater DC Cares, DC Water, DC Office of the Clean City, DC Department of the Environment, DC Department of Transportation and the DC Department of Public Works.

For more information, contact Irv Sheffey at 202-299-6503 or

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Preliminary Stream Designs

The preliminary stream designs are moving along with rough sketches presently available. Please contact Josh Burch at DDOE for more information: (202) 535-2247 or

Monday, February 22, 2010

Homegoing of a Friend and Leader

Joseph A. Glover, Founder and Chair of the Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance died on January 26th, 2010. Mr. Glover lived on the border of the Park and loved it and the stream dearly. He spent numerous hours over the years cleaning the park, organizing residents to become stewards of it and to pressure government to make improvements to it. He was a leader and an inspiration to those of us who have worked in the park and along the stream. Although he is gone his spirit still remains and it inspires all of us to action.

Stream Designs Coming Soon!!!

Preliminary stream designs will be ready in early March and meetings with community residents will be set up so that residents in the Pope Branch watershed can provide feedback to the proposal for how the stream will look. The first time for public viewing of the preliminary stream designs will be on March 9th, 2010 at 7pm at the PennBranch Citizens Civic Association meeting at Pennsylvania Ave. Baptist Church (3000 Pennsylvania Ave. SE).

For more information contact Josh Burch at the District Department of the Environment at or (202) 535-2247.